Please select your home edition
Spinlock - Rigsense - 728x90

A first for radio sailing at IOM World Championships in Pierrelatte, France

by Roger Stollery on 14 May 14-20 May 2017
IOM racing © IOM worlds

Sailing is said not to be a spectator sport because of the difficulty of televising it. However radio sailing really is a spectator sport, because all the action happens within eyesight from the control area.

At World Championships there is usually video of the days events, but at this championship for the first time ever there is live action of every race, broadcast by a professional TV outfit, which also does the commentary. The link to this innovative way of presenting live sailing is

The MYA which regularly sends in reports to Clubs and Classes is keen to promote this particular side of our sport often not regarded very highly because of its small size. Recently Yachts and Yachting has concentrated on the largest of boats, but it is the size and the fact that races only take 10 minutes or so that increases the excitement of racing. Full-size sailors are beginning to realise this, as most of the new MYA clubs being formed are within full-size sailing clubs. Some really good skippers from the full-size world are competing in the MYA's comprehensive list of events and producing lots of high quality sailors. The skill of the GBR team at Pierrelatte is very high indeed with 4 of our team of 10 having one World Championships. You need just the same skills as if you were on board plus some extra ones. It is commonly thought that radio sailors are just boys playing with toys. The standard can be judged by the French bronze medallist at the 2008 Olympic Games taking part in a similar IOM championship in Marseille in 2007, where he only managed to finish 9th.

It really is worth a look at this World Championship to see the live action and the excitement that this can create. For me today it has been really exciting to watch my son Peter, sailing and orange boat, sail number 39, who started well by winning the first race, but then had some trips to B heat.

The fleet of 76 competitors from 30 nations is split into five heats A, B, C, D and E, each of 20 boats. Heat E races first and the top six finishers don't score points, but are promoted to heat D, which races next and so on. At the end of the race at the completion of A heat, those that finished in the bottom six of their heat are then rescheduled to the heat below for the next race.

This event is very well presented and would be of interest to anyone who races.

The racing starts tomorrow Sunday, 14 May and goes on until Friday the 19th, so there is plenty to see for those that may be interested. Today, they sailed five complete races and race 6 heat E. The conditions were very good today a light to moderate fluky wind and if these conditions continue there could be a total of 150 races available to watch. This has never been done before and I hope that you will be able to make something of this unique event to publicise our sport as much as possible.

More Information:

Related Articles

RC Lasers at Burwain Lake
One of the nicest locations in the country With fluffy white clouds, blue skies and average temperatures, what more is there to want for a descent day sailing at probably the nicest location in the country? Gentle winds to light conditions meant A rigs were the order for the day. Posted on 18 Aug
RC Laser German International Championship
The first official Internationale Deutschen Meisterchaft Sprechen sie deutsch? Well I suppose it doesn't really matter that much as most Germans have mastered the English language to our assistance. Posted on 15 Aug
UK (Vane) A-Class Championship at Fleetwood
A history which dates back to the late 1920's This prestigious regatta has a history which dates back to the late 1920's. This five day event brings skippers from all over the UK, with the Netherlands also represented. Posted on 6 Aug
RC Lasers at Fleetwood
A well-behaved pack of skippers A watchful eye on the weather pattern leading up to this Laser contest was appearing to be a bit of a lucky dip, with every scenario thrown in. Light rain showers, unsure of wind direction, so what we were going to get was going to be anyone's guess. Posted on 25 Jul
UK Marblehead Class Nationals
48 boats from 7 countries descend on Fleetwood The 2017 UK Marblehead Championship was held over for the first time in many years over 3 days on the famous to the class Fleetwood marine lake. This years event boasted a stellar entry of 48 boats from 7 countries. Posted on 12 Jul
RC Laser National Championships
A busy weekend on the Lancashire coast Well what for a busy weekend on the Lancashire coast. The Fleetwood club was hosting their Marblehead Nationals with over 50 entrants registered and also the 10 Rater Nationals on Monday and Tuesday. Posted on 12 Jul
UK Marblehead Class Nationals preview
Marbleheads do Vegas... kind of! This coming Friday sees over 50 of the UK and Worlds best radio sailing skippers descend on the Marine Lake at Fleetwood for the 2017 UK Marblehead Class National Championships. Posted on 4 Jul
RC Lasers at Burwain Lake
Great warm-up for the Nationals A month on and again we were treated to sailing at Burwain. Sunday wwas a double-whammy as it would count for two separate series. Posted on 3 Jul
RG65 Nationals at Birkenhead
24 skippers race over the weekend Saturday started with a steady west north westerly wind blowing down the lake, with occasional lulls and stronger periods. Race Officer Peter Baldwin set a standard windward/leeward course and a gate at the bottom. Posted on 30 Jun
Scottish District IOM Championship
Seventeen skippers race at Kinghorn Loch Seventeen skippers from eight Scottish radio sailing clubs gathered with their IOM yachts to race for the Scottish Championship and Travellers II combined event at Kinghorn Loch. Posted on 12 Jun